My father had a pet peeve. He used to say, "Some people can be so judgmental." This used to make me sigh and laugh just a little bit at the irony. "Dad, isn't that statement judgmental?" He would look at me in mild confusion, and then insist that he was free of such character defects, and assert that being judgmental was a bad thing. I would then counter by saying something like: "But dad, don't you make judgements every day? Like which tie looks better with that jacket?" He didn't see that as coming from the same crop. "How about where you choose to have lunch?" Maybe a little closer, but still no willingness to accept my point. "What about the people you work with? Do you always want to have lunch with everybody? Aren't there people you exclude?" And though he would deny it, this made me feel very clever.
These days, I would agree more with my dad. In 2004, Michele Bachmann addressed the National Education Conference and she stated that being gay is "a very sad life. It's part of Satan, I think, to say that this is 'gay.' It's anything but 'gay.'" She also stated that the gay lifestyle is "bondage" that leads to "personal enslavement of individuals" and is "dangerous." But she also encouraged compassion for those dealing with what she identifies as a "sexual dysfunction." I don't know, but that sounds a little judgmental to me.
And of course she could explain away, as is her wont, that these were all verifiable scientific facts found in the Bible. But it would still be her judging others. On "Meet The Press" this past weekend, host David Gregory asked if these would be Bachmann's views on gays were she to win the presidency. She dodged the question, saying "Well, I am running for the presidency of the United States. I am not running to be anyone's judge."
Marcus Bachmann, husband of Michele, runs a Christian counseling business that offers "reparative" therapy for homosexuality, which backers believe can "cure" people of being gay. Marcus Bachmann stressed that the facility only offers "reparative" therapy if a client requests that type of treatment. How this aligns with his wife's insistence that she accords "honor and dignity" to every person seems to be, for the rest of us, a judgment call.
Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll last weekend. Stay tuned.